News

stylized image featuring Patrick Stayton

March 24, 2015 | CoMotion

UW introduces pre-packaged IP to optimize industry sponsored research

The University of Washington is launching a new “pre-packaged” intellectual property (IP) program for sponsored research to make it easier for businesses to partner with UW in transforming discoveries into innovative solutions. See also:
press release | Washington Innovation Advantage Program brochure

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March 23, 2015 | UW Today

UW scientists build a nanolaser using a single atomic sheet

UW engineers have built a new nanometer-sized laser — using the thinnest semiconductor available today — that is energy efficient and compatible with existing electronics. The UW nanolaser, developed in collaboration with Stanford University, uses a semiconductor only three atoms thick. See also: Nature

Joseph Wartman and David Montgomery

March 19, 2015 | UW Today

UW geologist, engineer reflect back one year later on nation’s deadliest landslide

As we approach the one-year anniversary of the landslide disaster in Oso, Washington, two UW professors reflect on the event and the intense research and policy efforts that followed. UW Today interviews Joseph Wartman, a UW associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, and David Montgomery, a UW professor of Earth and space sciences. See also: KUOW, New York Times op/ed

Manduca sexta moth, as seen flying through a virtual reality forest scene

March 18, 2015 | UW Today

New Air Force center at UW learns from animals for better flight

A new UW research center will study how insects and animals are able to perform complex, precision tasks such as flying in windy and crowded spaces and locating mates and prey. The center is funded by the Air Force and is housed in the UW Department of Biology in partnership with UW Engineering. Basic research will contribute to next-generation small, flying robots. Center home page: Air Force Center of Excellence on Nature-Inspired Flight Technologies and Ideas (NIFTI)

An artists concept of brain cell-to-cell signaling

March 13, 2015 | UW Today

Public symposium features UW experts on ‘Reverse-engineering the brain’

Some of UW’s leading experts on deconstructing the intricate processes of the human brain will participate in a free symposium and panel discussion on Thursday March 19 in the HUB Lyceum. The 2 p.m. symposium, 3:45 p.m. panel discussion and 4:30 p.m. reception are open to the public but require advance registration. See the event web pages for more information.

Volha Hrechka, member of the 2014 winning team Polydrop, describes their project to an EIC judge

March 12, 2015 | UW Engineering student news

Ten UW Engineering student teams competing in the 2015 Environmental Innovation Challenge

Out of 22 regional student teams selected to compete this year, 10 teams are based in UW engineering departments. In the EIC, interdisciplinary student teams define an environmental problem, design a solution, produce a prototype, and create a business summary that demonstrates market opportunity and the potential for impact. Engineering teams are working on project that provide an irresistible alternative to driving, turn cooking fires into personal power stations, and decrease energy consumption, improve home safety, and reduce waste. See also: Environmental Innovation Challenge website.

A 3-D rendering of fibrin forming a blood clot, with PolySTAT (in blue) binding strands together. Credit: William Walker/UW

March 10, 2015 | UW Today

An injectable UW polymer could keep soldiers, trauma patients from bleeding to death

The new polymer, described in a paper featured on the cover of the March 4 issue of Science Translational Medicine, could become a first line of defense in everything from battlefield injuries to rural car accidents to search and rescue missions deep in the mountains. It has been tested in rats, and researchers say it could reach human trials in five years. The polymer was developed in the Pun Lab, led by Suzie Pun, the UW’s Robert J. Rushmer Professor of Bioengineering. See also: KPLU radio story.

Pedro Arduino

March 4, 2015 | Office of the Dean

CEE's Pedro Arduino will be the new associate dean of infrastructure

Pedro Arduino, professor of civil & environmental engineering, will be the UW College of Engineering's associate dean of infrastructure beginning March 9, 2015. He assumes the role as major engineering building projects are in the works and on the horizon. Read more in an announcement to colleagues from UW Engineering dean Michael Bragg.

a blue, 3-D printed prosthetic hand

February 27, 2015 | UW Today

‘Handathon’ challenges students to build better 3-D printed prosthetic hands

Seattle’s first-ever “Handathon” will bring together students, faculty and clinicians to the ME building in a hackathon-style, 24-hour event that challenges students to improve an existing 3-D printed prosthetic hand. See also Handathon on the Ability and Innovation Lab website.

Emily Fox, Shyam Gollakota, and Thomas Rothvoss

February 23, 2015 | UW Today

Five UW early career researchers win Sloan Research Fellowships

Three CoE faculty are among the five UW recipients of 2015 Sloan Research Fellowships honoring early career scientists and scholars: Emily Fox, assistant professor of statistics with adjunct appointements in computer science and engineering and electrical engineering; Shyam Gollakota, assistant professor of computer science and engineering; and Thomas Rothvoss, assistant professor of computer science and engineering and of mathematics. Each award includes $50,000 from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

David Baker at the AAAS annual meeting

February 17, 2015 | College of Engineering

Novel proteins, emoticons, and big data pathways: CoE faculty present at AAAS 2015 Annual Meeting

Several UW College of Engineering faculty spoke at the 2015 Annual Meeting of American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), held February 12-16 in San Jose, CA. David Baker, a professor of biochemistry and adjunct professor in CSE and ChemE, gave a plenary lecture on protein design. HCDE's Cecilia Aragon presented on emotion in informal text communication. Aragon and CSE's Ed Lazowska and Bill Howe presented at a symposium entitled, "Advancing University Career Paths in Interdisciplinary Data-Intensive Science." Find links to UW Today stories, videos, and AAAS web pages.

image of a drone from KING 5 News video

February 16, 2015 | KING 5 News

UW researchers welcome proposed drone rules

Following the release of drone rules proposed by the FAA, KING 5 News visits the UW's Autonomous Flight Systems Laboratory for a reaction. See drones in action and hear from researchers on the potential applications of drone technology and why they welcome the rule-making process.

Two young women at a National Center for Women & Information Technology event

February 11, 2015 | UW Today

How to interest girls in computer science and engineering? Shift the stereotypes

A new UW study identifies stereotypes of computer scientists and engineers as a leading factor in the relatively low percentage of young women choosing to pursue those careers. Researchers conducted experiments to show how stereotypes can be reinforced by the media, learning environments, and narrow characterizations of computer science and engineering by people in those fields. The article cites programs at UW and Harvey Mudd as examples of how to overcome these obstacles and increase the percentage of women among computer science graduates. See also: Frontiers in Psychology

image collage of Innovation Award winners from CoE

February 11, 2015 | UW Today

14 UW researchers win 2015 Innovation Awards

Of the fourteen researchers chosen by UW to receive this year’s UW Innovation Awards, seven are faculty members in the College of Engineering. Four are part of a team building mobile tools for patients to enter data about their habits and behaviors. Three are on a team developing a web-based mentoring program to boost students' entrepreneurial-thinking and problem-solving skills. See also news items from: CSE | EE | HCDE

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February 10, 2015 | UW Today

3-D printing creates low-cost mechanical sensor

A recent collaboration between UW chemists and UW mechanical engineers Mark Ganter and Duane Storti, who have developed new 3-D printing materials and techniques, merges custom chemistry and 3-D printing. The researchers have created a bone-shaped plastic tab that turns purple under stretching, offering an easy way to record the force on an object. The sensor might be used to record force or strain on a building or other structure.

Brian Fabien and Eve Riskin

February 10, 2015 | College of Engineering

Grant expands STEM education program at Georgia Tech, other universities

A Georgia Tech STEM education program is expanding to UW and other universities thanks to a grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. The program unites large teams of undergraduates with graduate students and faculty to work together on long-term research projects. UW leads will be College of Engineering associate deans Brian Fabien and Eve Riskin.

CBS 60 Minutes' Leslie Stahl at the wheel of a hacked car

February 8, 2015 | CBS 60 Minutes

Cybersecurity and hackable cars

CBS 60 Minutes was on campus to film a segment of their program on cybersecurity. A demonstration of the ease with which new cars can be hacked was based on research conducted by a team of UW engineers — Yoshi Kohno, Alexei Czeskis, Karl Koscher, and Franzi Roesner — and colleagues at the University of California, San Diego. See also: UW CSE's inside story.

the Millennium Falcon underwater robot

February 5, 2015 | UW Today

New tool monitors effects of tidal, wave energy on marine habitat

To responsibly harvest wave and tidal energy, we need to understand how animals and fish will be affected by ocean energy equipment. Enter the Millennium Falcon, an underwater robot designed to deploy and retrieve an unprecedented array of sensory capabilities in a "plug-and-socket" instrumentation package. Brian Polagye, a UW assistant professor of mechanical engineering, is a project leader.
See also: YouTube

Wayne Quinton

February 4, 2015 | Seattle Times

Wayne Quinton, UW’s ‘father of bioengineering,’ dies at 94

Distinguished alumnus Wayne Everett Quinton (’58 BS Mechanical Engineering) passed away on January 22, 2015, at the age of 94. His many inventions, including the lightweight cardiac treadmill, improved the quality of life for millions of people worldwide. Recognized as the world's first bioengineer, Wayne Quinton was named early in his career as one of the 25 top young scientists in the nation by Life magazine and was later honored by UW with the title “Father of Biomedical Engineering." He was a 2009 College of Engineering Diamond Award honoree. See also: Diamond Award profile | Columns feature

model head on lab workbench

February 2, 2015 | University of Washington

Curbing Concussions

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says up to a whopping 3.8 million sports-related concussions occur annually in the U.S., and those numbers are conservative — as many as 50 percent of concussions go unreported. “Helmet technology hasn’t evolved much at all in 40 or 50 years,” says Jonathan Posner, McMinn Endowed Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, who works on the project alongside Professor and Department Chair of Mechanical Engineering Per Reinhall. “Engineering and medicine are working together to come up with a practical solution.”

Gaetano Borriello

February 2, 2015 | CSE News

Remembering Gaetano Borriello, dedicated CSE professor and mentor

Friend, colleague, and professor of computer science & engineering Gaetano Borriello passed away on February 1. Gaetano sought to provide an extraordinary educational experience for students in which they discover, pursue, and achieve their potential to make the world a better place. In his honor, UW CSE established the Gaetano Borriello Fellowship for Change to support students whose work is focused on technology can improve the lives of under-served populations.

Cecilia Giachelli

February 01, 2015 | Office of the Dean

Cecilia Giachelli appointed chair of Bioengineering

Cecilia Giachelli has been appointed chair of the Department of Bioengineering beginning February 1, 2015. She is a professor of bioengineering, leads the Giachelli Lab for Cellular Bioengineering, and has served as acting chair since fall 2013. Read more in an announcement to colleagues from UW Engineering dean Michael Bragg and UW Medicine CEO Paul Ramsey.

excerpt from Environmental Innovation Challenge and link to details

January 29, 2015 | Foster Blog

Alaska Airlines takes the EIC to New Heights

Alaska Airlines has committed to a 10-year sponsorship of the Environmental Innovation Challenge at the UW, demonstrating its dedication to innovation that addresses the world’s most pressing environmental problems. Alaska Airlines is reducing their contribution to the waste stream with in-flight recycling, drinks served in InCycle Cups (a spin-off from a UW Engineering lab), and 100% recycled paper products in the restrooms. The College of Engineering is also a sponsor of the annual Environmental Innovation Challenge.

quake warning video screen shot - concentric circles off the West Coast

January 27, 2015 | UW Today

UW researchers helping region get ready for the next Big One

On the 315th anniversary of a massive earthquake and tsunami generated off the Washington and Oregon coast, UW scientists are helping prepare the region for a repeat event that could come at any time. Civil engineers Joseph Wartman and Jeff Berman are part of the effort.

Boeing engineers Lance McCann and Jim Buttrick with a robotic device

January 19, 2014 | UW Today

Boeing, UW open research lab on Seattle campus

A new research center on campus is taking UW-Boeing collaboration to a new level. The Boeing Advanced Research Center, located in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, will let students and faculty members work collaboratively with Boeing engineers on aircraft and spacecraft assembly and manufacturing. See also: Seattle Times | King 5 | GeekWire | Puget Sound Business Journal

Left to right: Shyam Gollakota, Baosen Zhang, Derek Sutherland

January 07, 2015 | UW Today

3 UW engineers make Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in energy list

Three University of Washington engineers were selected by Forbes magazine as part of its top 30 people in the world under age 30 in energy: Shyam Gollakota (CSE assistant professor), Baosen Zhang (EE assistant professor), and Derek Sutherland (AA PhD candidate). See also: CoE feature

Radha Poovendran

December 23, 2014 | Office of the Dean

Radha Poovendran is the new chair for Electrical Engineering

Dean Michael Bragg has announced that Radha Poovendran, a UW professor of electrical engineering and expert in wireless and sensor network security, will be the new chair of his department. Radha is the recipient of many awards, including the National Science Foundation CAREER Award and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).

excerpt of map showing carbon sampling locations

December 22, 2014 | School of Environmental and Forest Sciences (SEFS)

Humans adding ‘fossil’ carbon to rivers

New research from CEE assistant professor David Butman suggests that the effects of human land-use choices reduce carbon storage in the ground. Butman, who holds a joint appointment with the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences (SEFS), is the lead author on a paper recently published in Nature Geoscience.

Greg Miller

December 18, 2014 | Office of the Dean

Greg Miller's appointment as CEE Chair extended through June 2018

Dean Michael Bragg has announced that Greg Miller, chair of the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, has accepted the dean's invitation to remain as chair through June 2018.

Brian Fabien

December 17, 2014 | Office of the Dean

Brian Fabien appointed Associate Dean of Academic Affairs

Dean Michael Bragg has announced the appointment of Brian Fabien, a UW professor of mechanical engineering, to the position of Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. Fabien is the Director of the Dynamic Systems Modeling and Controls Laboratory and co-faculty advisor for the University of Washington EcoCAR team. He begins his role January 2, 2015.

excerpt of video still showing mountain photo with superimposed rain-on-snow diagram

December 17, 2014 | UW Today

Improving forecasts for rain-on-snow flooding

Researchers in the UW Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering are using the physics behind rain-on-snow events to better predict flood risks. They are also helping clear up some misconceptions—including a common assumption that the rain itself in these events is primarily responsible for melting or washing away snow. See also: YouTube

graphic of tailpipe with calculator

December 12, 2014 | UW Today

Online tool lets Washington residents calculate carbon tax impacts

Justin Bare, a PhD student in Computer Science & Engineering, has created a tool that lets residents calculate how a state carbon tax swap proposed by Carbon Washington would impact them financially.

Jeffrey Heer, Ali Farhadi, Hannaneh Hajishirzi, and Luke Zettlemoyer

December 3, 2014 | UW Today

Competitive award to fund new approaches to artificial intelligence work

Four UW Engineering researchers have received the Allen Distinguished Investigator award totaling $2.7 million for their work in artificial intelligence research. The researchers are: Jeffrey Heer, Ali Farhadi, and Luke Zettlemoyer (CSE), and Hannaneh Hajishirzi (EE). The money will fund early stage research in several areas of artificial intelligence.
See also: Paul G. Allen Family Foundation news release

excerpt from 'Not Quite Human' comic

December 1, 2014 | UW Today

‘What is HCDE?’ New comics class aims to answer the question

A new class at the University of Washington that teaches comic artistry to undergraduate and graduate students is using comics to explain what, exactly, the field of human-centered design is all about. HCDE associate professor Charlotte Lee developed the class and teaches it with local artist Jeremy Kayes.

Devin Pegues in an excerpt of a Seattle Times photo by Mike Siegle

November 29, 2014 | Seattle Times

UW, WSU give future engineers a ‘redshirt season’

In an idea borrowed from college athletics, the University of Washington and Washington State boost promising engineering students—many of them women and minorities—with an extra year of academic work. See also Education Lab Blog posts: Google+ Hangout recording | STEM stats | guest post

David Coven holds up and inspects a vial in a lab

November 19, 2014 | UW Today

UW undergrad’s early life challenges become a hectic schedule of opportunity

UW undergraduate David Coven has started a company, directs a nonprofit, works in the lab alongside alongside doctoral-level researchers, and takes a full course load on his path to a mechanical engineering degree with a mathematics minor. He has made the most of opportunities, from Mathematics Academy and the UW STEM Bridge Program to college funding awards from Costco and Washington State Opportunity Scholarship.
See also: YouTube

drawing of safer helmet prototype

November 13, 2014 | UW Today

UW researchers win Head Health Challenge with new football helmet designed to combat concussions.

A startup and collaboration that includes ME's Per Reinhall (professor and chair) and Jonathan Posner (associate professor) has developed a new football helmet designed to mitigate the forces likely to cause concussion. Their design won the Head Health Challenge II. See also: GeekWire

colored rectangles around individuals in surveillance video

November 12, 2014 | UW Today

Moving cameras talk to each other to identify, track pedestrians

UW electrical engineers have developed a way to automatically track people across moving and still cameras by using an algorithm that trains the networked cameras to learn one another’s differences. Lead researcher and EE professor Jenq-Neng Hwang said the technology may eventually allow people to see an "animated version of the real-time dynamics of city streets on a platform like Google Earth.” See also: YouTube

UW students Darby Losey with electroencephalography cap

November 5, 2014 | UW Today

UW study shows direct brain interface between humans

UW researchers have successfully replicated a direct brain-to-brain connection with three pairs of people. In a newly published study led by Computer Science & Engineering's Rajesh Rao, researchers were able to transmit the signals from one person’s brain over the Internet to control the hand motions of another person a half mile away. A new grant will allow research into transmitting more complex brain processes.
See also: YouTube

Carlos Guestrin

October 29, 2014 | GeekWire

Geek of the Week: GraphLab CEO Carlos Guestrin is unlocking the potential of machine learning

GeekWire names Computer Science & Engineering professor Carlos Guestrin its Geek of the Week and interviews him about the potential of big data, where he finds inspiration, his favorite Star Trek captain, and more.

Nisqually Road (Mt. Rainier area) in a 2006 flood

October 29, 2014 | UW Today

Fires and floods: North Cascades federal lands prepare for climate change

In a changing climate, the North Cascades are expected to become increasingly prone to flooding, fire and insect outbreaks. UW scientists, including UW Civil & Environmental Engineering graduate student Ronda Strauch, have been helping federal agencies to pinpoint especially vulnerable resources and outline management responses to minimize adverse impacts. Findings were released this week in a report from the Pacific Northwest Research Station.

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October 28, 2014 | GeekWire

Q&A: How the University of Washington plans to become a hub for entrepreneurship and innovation

Vikram Jandyala, the former chair of UW's electrical engineering department, assumed the role of Vice Provost for Innovation in July. GeekWire stopped by the UW’s Center for Commercialization to talk with Jandhyala about his ambitions for the university. See also: Seattle Business

graphic of buildings and ambient signals

October 27, 2014 | Seattle Times

UW researchers pulling energy out of the air

Brier Dudley reports on the formation of a UW spinout company called Jiva Wireless that will produce wireless, battery-free sensing devices to enable the Internet of Things. Company founders are UW faculty members Joshua Smith (CSE and EE) and Shyam Gollakota (CSE), who have spent years developing the technology. See also: UW Today

screen shot of one of Sutherland's replies to reader comments

October 24, 2014 | UW Today

Fusion researchers take a different approach to a heated conversation

When A&A professor Thomas Jarboe and grad student Derek Sutherland went public with their concept for an economically feasible fusion reactor, they expected some naysayers and negativity. Sutherland has taken on a task perhaps more daunting that the field of fusion physics — reading and responding to reader comments. "We’re not hiding anything and we’ll answer any question you throw at us, which is different from other fusion groups that are quite secretive," Sutherland said.

ME student holds a turbine prototype

October 24, 2014 | UW Today

U.S. Navy awards $8 million to develop wave, tidal energy technology

UW will develop marine renewable energy for use at the Navy’s facilities worldwide as part of an $8 million, four-year contract from the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC). Tide and wave energy from waters near coastal bases will help the Navy meet a commitment to get half of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. Team members include Brian Polagye, an ME assistant professor, and the Applied Physics Laboratory's Jim Thomson, a CEE associate professor.

CT scan of machinery

October 24, 2014 | UW Today

Large X-ray scanner to produce 3-D images for labs across campus

A state-of-the-art imaging machine is coming to UW for use by researchers in a variety of disciplines. Researchers at UW and from other Pacific Northwest schools will be able to use the machine to answer questions such as how concrete and steel components are damaged in earthquakes and what the inside of a 3-D printed object looks like.

solar cell printer

October 22, 2014 | UW Today

Solar energy research gets boost from federal grant

Energy researchers at the UW will expand their work in making high-efficiency, printable solar cells and solar inks with the help of from the U.S. Department of Energy. The tandem, or "stacked," solar cells could be twice as efficient as today's standard solar technologies. See also: Clean Energy Institute research update

Geordi LaForge, a blind character from Star Trek who wore VISOR for super-human vision. Image from Wikipedia

October 21, 2014 | GeekWire

How tech advances are helping innovators do more for people with disabilities

CSE Professor Richard Ladner is jazzed about a better future for people with disabilities. There’s been an increase in attention to assistive technology, and Ladner, whose research includes MobileASL and the Tactile Graphics Project, says we need more people with disabilities pursing careers as coders, engineers, and designers — people who know exactly what a disabled person may need in a product.

Mark Haselkorn

October 17, 2014 | Human Centered Design & Engineering

Announcing the Center for Collaborative Systems for Security, Safety, and Regional Resilience (CoSSaR)

Regional security and the ability to effectively respond to and bounce back from disasters requires good communication and coordination among a wide range of public and private agencies. Focusing on the Puget Sound maritime community, a new UW research center is gaining valuable insights into how information is shared today—and identifying major opportunities to increase effectiveness.

The Center for Collaborative Systems for Security, Safety, and Regional Resilience (CoSSaR) is directed by Mark Haselkorn, a UW professor of human centered design and engineering. CoSSaR’s Maritime Operations Information Sharing Analysis (MOISA) research project was recently awarded federal funding for a second year.

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